Earlier in the summer, headlines featured accidents of children who stole their family’s vehicles and were involved in tragic accidents. One incident, in a car driven by a six-year-old who snuck out to take his three-year-old sister on a joyride, ended in the fatality of the three-year-old when the car crashed into a tree. Another accident of an 11-year old girl resulted in a one-car crash that left the child seriously injured. We know that children will be curious and want to act like grown-ups, but who is responsible in these odd accidents, and how do we prevent these from happening when we can’t watch our kids every second?
As parents, we worry most about the teenager who may be itching to get behind the wheel and practice new-found driving skills. We don’t think about the six- or ten-year-old who might also be curious. We know that the younger ones have other thoughts on their minds than driving mom’s car—or do they? In the case of the six- and three-year-olds, the children snuck out in the middle of the night. Mom had checked on them earlier and all was okay. What can be learned from this scenario?
- The kids were old enough to reach a locked door. Be sure there is a deadbolt that is installed out of their reach, especially if you live near a busy highway or intersection.
- The kids knew where mom’s keys were. Mom should keep her keys in a location that doesn’t give kids any ideas about stealing the keys and driving in the car.
- The little boy wanted to take his sister for a ride. Consequences may have been implemented before that prohibited the boy from taking his sister without mom’s knowledge or permission. Were the consequences severe enough?
Unfortunately, these instances resulted in horrific aftermaths for both. Their lives will be changed forever. Whether or not your underage child was in a vehicle, if you or your children have been involved in a car accidents, it’s best to seek the advice of a Manhattan Attorney who can help you with your case.